Politics - Andrew Heywood

I read this book as part of a college course on politics. I was taking the course at age 42, so I'm not the typical student for this material. I had already voted in many elections, worked with my rep to get a bill created, and participated in other government related activities. So I was already familiar with much of what was said.

The book does a reasonably good job of going over what can be fairly dense and complex material. It covers all the bases from types of government to types of constitutions, how voting happens, how assemblies handle delegation, and more. It talks about how studying politics can be challenging because there's no safe way to "experiment" to see what happens. Governments have actual effects over the lives of millions of people.

I have a few issues with the book. First, it makes it seem as if studying politics is wildly different from studying any other thing on the planet Earth. Maybe every book tries to do this, to seem like "studying biology is great!" and "studying English classic literature is great!" Still, I find it a bit silly. Yes, politics is unique just like every other field is unique. It poses its own challenges just like every field has challenges.

This edition was apparently published in 2007 and it is WOEFULLY out of date when it talks about some middle east issues. I realize that things change fairly quickly in some parts of the world, but when the book is talking about politics it needs to be kept up to date. There really should be a fresh edition of this, or if they don't intend to update it regularly it shouldn't try to talk about specific situations that could change.

Also, I have a pet peeve with expensive college textbooks having typos in them. We're paying the oodles of money for something that has been thoroughly proofread. I'm fine with typos in the solo author Kindle books that I review. I realize they don't have editorial support to do that type of polishing. This book should definitely have the editorial support to fix typos.

Still, a generally good overview of a topic that can be complex.

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